As Joni Mitchell sang in “Big Yellow Taxi,” “You don’t know what you’ve lost ‘till it’s gone …” and as I walked the rainy streets of Paris today and passed sad shuttered cafés and deserted restaurants I couldn’t help but think how cozy it would be to stop in and have an Earl Grey tea, pull out my T-Ball Jotter pen and sit down to write … anything at all. Paris cafés have served as office spaces for struggling writers for centuries. Why is that? Well, I guess because Paris apartments are small and a writer often feels a need to travel beyond the emotionally stifling walls of home if he or she wants to move into the creative 4th dimension. What I call the zone. Me, I find I can write better in a noisy café, with waiters moving all around me, then I can in the solitude of my own office. Maybe that’s why I’ve never had a desire to live in the country – it’s too damn quiet for me. But should a rock ‘n roll singer-songwriter long for quiet? Is that in our nature? Not sure. I know that for me, at least, there is no worse place to eat, no matter how good the food is, then a restaurant that is blaring music through its sound system, music that is so loud I’m forced to shout across the table to be heard by my dinner companion. Will someone explain to me why loud music has become part of the dining experience? Or am I getting old … don’t answer that!